Campaign launched to Save The Irish Post
6 September 2011
The campaign to save the Irish Post was launched in parliament this week.
The campaign has been launched because the owners of the Irish Post, Thomas Crosbie Holdings, abruptly ceased trading – causing the loss of 12 jobs.
The newspaper celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, but has seen falling sales and advertising revenues over recent months.
Chaired by Labour MP Chris Ruane in the House of Commons, the campaign launch meeting heard how the sudden manner of closure, meant that staff were not able to put together a final edition and could not let readers know that the paper was coming to a halt.
Chris Ruane told how MPs were fully behind the campaign to save the paper, which played a vital role in ensuring that the voices from the Irish community could be heard.
Labour MP Stephen Pound paid tribute to the past work of the Irish Post in representing the community, declaring that a future without the paper was "unthinkable".
An Early Day Motion was signed by 40 MPs in just two days since it was tabled. Among those signing have been Labour MPs John McDonnell. Paul Goggins, Joe Benton, Jack Dromey and Frank Dobson; Conservative MP Peter Bottomley and Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock.
The Irish Post was established in 1970 by Breandan MacLua and Tony Beatty to serve the needs of the Irish community in Britain. It was at the height of the Troubles in Ireland with the Irish community in Britain in many places feeling under siege.
Sinead MacLua, the daughter of the founding editor of the paper Breandan MacLua, told the meeting of the founding principles of her father and how vital the paper had been to the community over the years. She expressed her hope that the paper can be saved and continue serving the community.
The paper has provided a voice for the Irish community, undertaking a number of significant campaigns including the campaigns to free the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four.
The paper also covered community and cultural issues including Irish literature, language and dance.
Over recent years the paper continued to campaign on issues crucial to the Irish community such as involving the community in the census and defending rights to British citizenship.
The paper was sold to TCH for £1.7 million in 2003. Sales, however, have been in decline for a number of years with an ageing readership.
The next stage in the process is a creditors meeting on Wednesday 14 September convened by Belfast-based liquidators FPM Accountants LLP.
Early Day Motion 2137: Campaign to Save The Irish Post Newspaper
That this House expresses its concern at the sudden decision of the Cork-based Thomas Crosbie Holdings to close the longest running, largest circulation community weekly newspaper for the Irish in the UK; notes the belief of former staff and management that viable alternatives to closure are available and their launch of a community campaign to `Save the Irish Post'; further notes that the Federation of Irish Societies, with more than 150 affiliated clubs and societies throughout England and Wales, has described the Post as a central pillar of the community; further notes that the Irish Post has, for more than forty years, been the `voice of the Irish in Britain', defended the community against discrimination, promoted peace and reconciliation, celebrated Irish identity, ethnicity, history and culture; showcased Irish talent and promoted trade and commerce; believes that a vibrant and diverse community press and media is vital to the promotion of good relations in society; and supports the Irish community in its battle to save this vital resource.
Primary sponsor: Chris Ruane, Date tabled: 05/09/2011